5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
Updated: Aug 29, 2023
Playing with friends, swimming, hiking, and outdoor games are great ways to stay active and social on weekends and school breaks.
However, knowing how to do these activities safely is essential.
Dr. Hagar Gur-Soferman, head of the Pediatric Emergency Room at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, offers safety tips:
Gur-Soferman's first tip is to stay safe in the sun.
"I think that kids must be out with their peers doing outdoor activities and not just sitting around staring at their screens," Gur-Soferman said.
However, she said it is best to ensure that children are not running outside for extended periods during the hottest hours — between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wearing sunscreen is extremely important to prevent sunburn, skin cancer and skin aging, according to the FDA. Gur-Soferman also advises wearing clothing that shields your skin from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as sunglasses with UV protection, hats and shoes that cover your feet.
Gur-Soferman recommends drinking water and taking time to rest in the shade, as exposure to too much heat can lead to exhaustion.
Look for signs of heat exhaustion.
Sunburn and dehydration are not the only symptoms. Signs of heat exhaustion can include flushed skin, sweating, vomiting and even rambling speech. Give children water, rest from the sun and seek medical attention as needed.
It is also essential to ensure your children are safe in the water. Swimming is a perfect way to cool off in the heat, but remember to watch children at the beach or swimming pool, especially young children and kids who do not know how to swim.
Make sure to only swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
BEWARE OF ANIMALS
“All kinds of animals can bite," Gur-Soferman reminded. There are many animals and insects out there, so remember to be careful and wear insect repellent.
It is important to specifically be careful of snakes.
“Summer and early fall is snake season. It is important to be alert and careful when moving stones or wood,” said pediatrician Dr. Aviad Rosenberg.
This past May, a nine-year-old girl was treated by Assuta Ashdod for a viper bite. She experienced swelling in her face and leg and vomiting but was quickly admitted to the pediatric ward and treated with anti-venom serum.
Her mother said, "I want to appeal to all parents: explain to your children the dangers.”
Some kids tend to wander off, so proper supervision is critical.
Children should be supervised appropriately depending on their age — very young children should have direct supervision.
"Their motor abilities still need to be fully developed. For example, they could trip, they might not be able to climb a ladder and understand the need to be careful," Gur-Soferman explained.
Older children can have more distance while still being watched.
"Older children can be educated and are more capable of adjusting to their environment and are moderately more developed physically. As such, they can perform more comprehensive tasks," she said.
Be sure to watch young children around the streets especially, as Assuta Ashdod has seen an increase in children injured by being hit by teenagers on scooters and electric bikes.
WEAR SAFETY HELMETS
Head injuries and broken bones can send children to the hosptial.
It is very important to remember to wear a helmet when riding electric bikes and scooters, as well as to watch out for pedestrians.
DR. GUR-SOFERMAN'S SAFETY TIPS
Supervise children at pools and beaches
Apply insect repellent
Watch your children
Wear safety helmets